Property development Bristol

According to the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, the UK housing market is ‘on fire’.  And Bristol –  one of the 10 core cities in the UK and the largest city in the south west – is a key ‘hot spot’ offering huge potential for property developers.

The extension of tax breaks for homebuyers, a pandemic-fuelled desire for properties with a home office and garden and ultra-low interest rates is creating unprecedented demand for homes, putting pressure on property developers to help tackle the housing shortage.

Lloyds identified the south west as the region with the largest average rise in house prices, up 17%, while deposit increases soared to 33%. Unsurprisingly, property prices in Bristol are above the industry average. The economy has particular strengths in creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture.

Bristol Property Sites

There’s a wide range of investment property types and prices in Bristol, such as waterfront studio apartments, Victorian and Georgian terraced houses, larger flats, new townhouse or dockside terraced house developments, and traditional semi-detached houses. As one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations, there’s a thriving short-let investment property market too. Finally, with two universities, many property investors have found student let investment property a consistent earner in the Bristol area.

 

Affordable Housing

The government’s affordable homes strategy is gaining momentum in Bristol. One of the larger affordable homes’ developments is in south Bristol, at Ashton Rise – a £21m project, supported by Wilmott Dixon and due for completion this year. Ashton Rise comprises 133 homes, including 80 for private sale.

The UK’s first 100% social rent housing development opened its doors in November 2020. Developed by Zed Pods and constructed on a platform above a car park in Bristol (taking advantage of air rights), 11 zero-carbon modular starter homes were made available to young people in need of affordable housing.

There are plans to develop a former church site at New Kingsland, Henbury, to deliver one, two and three bed affordable units and this, plus the development of sites over the next three to five years,  will provide around 550 new homes (subject to planning consent).

 

Significant developments

Bristol City Council recently released a video showing how its planned 17 developments could transform Bristol’s skyline by 2040. Already BT has signed-up to take all the 200,000 sq ft of space in the under-construction Assembly building.  Developed in a waterfront location, and the city’s largest-ever office letting, its design will enhance the well-being and productivity of tenants.

Savills reports strong demand from the South West’s tech, media and telecoms, financial services and serviced office sectors, together with a limited supply of space, has pushed record rents for refurbished Grade A office space in Bristol.

Other projects include the £100 million Ashton Gate Stadium redevelopment. Described as a world-class sporting quarter, the development includes offices, hotels, a multi-storey car park and housing in nearby Longmoor village. Work started on the scheme in spring 2021.

In January 2020, the Unite Group was granted planning permission for its proposed 416-bed student development in the city centre, including the conversion of a former hospital building into 62 rented residential homes. The scheme’s scheduled to become operational in time for the 2021/2022 academic year.

Recently completed Magpie Court, Hanham, comprises 53 retirement living one and two bed apartments in a quiet suburb of Bristol.

 

Significant developments

Bristol City Council recently released a video showing how its planned 17 developments could transform Bristol’s skyline by 2040. Already BT has signed-up to take all the 200,000 sq ft of space in the under-construction Assembly building.  Developed in a waterfront location, and the city’s largest-ever office letting, its design will enhance the well-being and productivity of tenants.

Savills reports strong demand from the South West’s tech, media and telecoms, financial services and serviced office sectors, together with a limited supply of space, has pushed record rents for refurbished Grade A office space in Bristol.

Other projects include the £100 million Ashton Gate Stadium redevelopment. Described as a world-class sporting quarter, the development includes offices, hotels, a multi-storey car park and housing in nearby Longmoor village. Work started on the scheme in spring 2021.

In January 2020, the Unite Group was granted planning permission for its proposed 416-bed student development in the city centre, including the conversion of a former hospital building into 62 rented residential homes. The scheme’s scheduled to become operational in time for the 2021/2022 academic year.

Recently completed Magpie Court, Hanham, comprises 53 retirement living one and two bed apartments in a quiet suburb of Bristol.

 

Growth Areas

There are seven Enterprise Zones in and around Bristol; priority growth locations that will ensure businesses and the property development sector continues to thrive.

Bristol Temple Quarter  – home to rapidly growing clusters of small and start-up businesses, particularly in the creative, digital and hi-tech sectors. One of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK, covering over 100 hectares of land.

Junction 21 Enterprise Area north Somerset’s major employment, innovation and enterprise location and home to Foodworks-SW, a significant food and drink development centre that’s under construction.

Filton Enterprise Area – home to the UK’s largest aerospace cluster. Plans are underway for a new aerospace park with a focus on high value design, advanced manufacturing, defence and research.

Bath Enterprise Zone – regeneration and development sites along the riverside in Bath, offering land for contemporary workspace, new homes and cultural and leisure facilities.

Emersons Green – with access to the largest PhD talent pool in the UK, this area is proven to support industries specialising in science and research, technology, creativity and digital.

 Somer Valley Enterprise Zone – a greenfield site extending 13.5 hectares on the western edge of Midsomer Norton. Allocated for employment uses and once developed, could create 1,700 new jobs for local people and 54,000 square metres of commercial space.

Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area  – an industrial site extending five miles along the Severn Estuary, covering some 1,800 hectares. The area is located between Bristol and the River Severn,  adjacent to the M5 and M49 motorways.

 

Bristol One City Plan

Bristol local government has set itself ambitious targets for the future. Its first ever One City Plan contains a vision for each decade up to 2050 with goals around health and wellbeing, the economy, homes and communities, the environment, learning and skills and connectivity. Partners from across the city’s business, charitable, academic and public sectors contributed to the first draft of the Plan, which aims to make Bristol fair, healthy and sustainable with reduced inequality.

This vision for the future can only contribute to what is already recognised as a thriving region with emerging opportunities for property developers.

 

Opportunity for developers in Bristol

If you can access development finance, then there’s huge potential for property development in Bristol. With so many planned developments and support from all areas of the community It’s a great time to be a property developer. And while following a traditional lending route might be your preferred option, it won’t necessarily be the most efficient, quickest or competitive.

Accessing the right development finance is often one of the key barriers to success for SME developers, as evidenced by the 2020Housebuilders Survey. Brickflow is the UK’s first development finance search engine to address widely-reported funding access issues, connecting borrowers and lenders in seconds.

At Brickflow we regularly secure funds for projects with lower interest rates and deposits than can be found elsewhere.

 

What is property development finance?

Property development finance is short-term funding for residential, commercial or mixed-use construction and refurbishment projects. This short-term loan has various names, dependent upon what it’s wanted for.

Names include: a Senior Loan (usually provides most of the funds need to complete a property development project), a Stretched Senior Loan (with a higher loan to cost/loan to value percentage than its initial namesake), Mezzanine Development Finance (as the name suggests, another layer of funds, closing the gap between your deposit and what your lender will offer you) and Regulated Development Finance (used to fund the rebuild of the property you’re going to live in).

Whatever the tem, Brickfow can help you put together your project appraisal and showcase it to multiple lenders. And once you can access funds with more competitive terms, it might spur you on to take on more projects which, as your experience grows and track-records develops, unlock even more funding opportunities and project growth.

 

How to finance property development in Bristol

We’re all aware the development finance market is fragmented, and often it’s impossible to know where to start. Do you ask friends, other developers or just approach the brands you know (which could be limited)? But what about the lenders you don’t know about? At Brickflow we have 26 lenders plugged into our platform (representing more than half of the UK development finance sector).

To talk to us about development finance for a project in Bristol, or elsewhere in the UK, give us a call on 020 4534 5227 or email at info@brickflow.com

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